The anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has often been quoted as saying that his goal is to get government small enough “so that it can be drowned in a bathtub.” He—like many other ideological conservatives—have a common strategy in Washington: de-fund a program/agency/department, watch it falter because of the de-funding, and then use that as proof that it doesn’t work and needs to be eliminated.
I thought of that this evening as I reflected on the Episcopal Church’s proposed budget and its cuts to Anglican Communion programs. Places like the Anglican Communion Office are sponsoring really important work for the world church: the Continuing Indaba, for instance, or the Bible in the Life of the Church project. Repeatedly, however, the Episcopal Church has turned its back on these programs and deemed them not worthy of being funded. As a result, the staff of the ACO valiantly struggle along, doing their best on the barest of shoestring budgets. Because these projects are so under-resourced, they fail to have the full impact they could. People then say they’re not working and further cuts are made.
General Convention today passed a resolution piously spouting off about its commitment to the Anglican Communion. Really, though, it seems like it wants to drown the Communion in a bathtub.